RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Elections (VDoE) has announced new initiatives to ensure voter lists are accurate. It comes with early voting for November’s general assembly elections set to begin in less than 48 hours.
VDoE says it has partnered with five states (West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio, and Georgia) and Washington D.C. to share voter registration data to try and identify people registered to vote in two different jurisdictions and combat potential fraud.
Meanwhile, VDoE says another strategy it is expanding to confirm accurate voting rolls involved using National Change of Address data (NCOA) from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
According to VDoE, “the NCOA database catalogs change of address requests submitted by individuals to the USPS.” The Department then uses that database to “identify voters registered in Virginia who may have moved and may need to update or cancel their voter registration.” VDoE then sends a “confirmation notice” to those voters.
If voters respond to that notice within 30 days and confirm they haven’t moved or that they’re new address is in Virginia, they’ll remain on the voter rolls as “active.”
Voters who do not respond, some 260,000 people since January, are classified as inactive. Inactive voters can still cast their ballot on election day as long as they “have their eligible voting status verified by the general registrar, sign a statement declaring that they are a qualified and registered voter of the precinct at which they are present, and be added to the pollbook by officers of election.”
However, if a person doesn’t show up to vote in two consecutive federal general elections, they’re registration will be canceled.
VDoE says it has also found just under 19,000 death records since 1960 that were not originally reported. Those names have been sent to local registrars for them to be removed from the voting rolls.